Upstairs and downstairs lights will not work together!!

Postby samlouiselowe » Mon Jul 28, 2008 8:06 am

The lights upstairs and downstairs will not work together. Both sets work, but only independently. We changed the fuses in the fuse box and both sets work on their own, but not together. We wondered whether it was the fuse holders - the system is about 14 yrs old. We have the fuse in so that the upstairs ones are working at the moment as we have 2 babies to see to at night. Not sure whether to call in the experts or whether it is something simple........ would greatly appreciate some advice. Thank you
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Simply Build It

Postby ericmark » Mon Jul 28, 2008 1:14 pm

Are you saying the one fuse will work either system and the other will not? This would point to other fuse having blown and needing renewing.
The fuse box normally called a consumer unit a name to cover both fuses and MCB’s (miniature circuit breakers) was often made by a firm called Wylex and their old units can be easily upgraded to have MCB’s which are like little switches rather than fuses.
But you say 2 babies and in which case you may want to upgrade to one with RCD’s these detect when electricity has leaked out of the system i.e. it’s going through someone’s body instead and will automatically disconnect the power if that should happen. Even if you were skilled in electrics because of laws called Part P it would normally be better to use a Part P registered electrician to change a consumer unit.
Fuse holders very seldom go wrong. There are two basic types of domestic fuse the rewireable which have been discontinued now but still found and need fuse wire inserting and the cartridge type where the wire is in a sand filled glass or porcelain tube with metal caps on each end with these you throw it away and fit new.
Your description does not really tell us what you have and what you are changing.
In most cases the 5/6 amp lighting fuse carrier is marked with white dots. The MCB’s would normally be marked B6.
A cartridge fuse holder will normally plug in on some blade connectors and when removed you can remove a screw to expose the fuse inside the holder.
Maybe you can explain what you have? Some people have called MCB’s fuses in past so we have to be careful with replies there is a projects area with pictures which may be more helpful than plain text.
All best Eric

Postby TOPSPARK » Mon Jul 28, 2008 5:57 pm

Hi samlouiselowe
My first point with two babies in the house I would call in a registered electrician as safety is of paramount importance and as your description is not clear as an electrician myself this would be your best option as then seeing it the electrican could give you the best advice
all the best
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Postby samlouiselowe » Mon Jul 28, 2008 7:23 pm

Thanks for that Eric. Our fuse box is the one with the holders and the little porcelain fuse with metal caps. We have renewed both fuses. It is a cartridge fuse system. There are circuit breakers fitted on the sytem as far as I am aware, certainly for the sockets that can be reached for outside use, ie mower etc. What I cannot understand is why the system works the lights individually with either cartridge fitted, but not together. we had the electrics checked when we moved in last year and all was deemed ok, so it must be some new malfunction!
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Postby TOPSPARK » Mon Jul 28, 2008 10:42 pm

reading your reply to eric does your fuse box contain both cartridge fuses and mcb's and also do you have an rcd(trip)if you dont then using the outside socket wiythout rcd protection could pose you problems if there was a fault on the mower this could cause an electric shock.I would still recommend calling in a local electrician to advise you.
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Postby ericmark » Mon Jul 28, 2008 10:45 pm

This is an unusual fault. I can't think of any scenario which would cause this. And I think you have no real alternative but to call in an electrician. Would be interested in outcome.
When my children were about 5 or 6 years old I was persuaded my my father-in-law to fit earth leakage trips. As my children grew up they tripped them a few times. From messing around with electrical items to over filling bath and I am glad I fitted them.
My son now an electrician in his own right, and also a radio ham so may be he fiddled more than most but I would not want to be without RCD's with children in the house.
Topspark is right you would never forgive yourself if as they get older they did something daft and electrocuted themselves also at some point you will want an extra socket and you will have to upgrade then so why not now?
I realise you already have protected sockets for outside and there is no legal reason to upgrade. But I will suspect when you get in an electrician in he will suggest an upgrade and it is better to have had some time to think about it rather than making snap decision so I am giving you the time to think about it.
Although under new regulations any new houses will have to be fitted with RCD's there is no need to up grade an existing house but with MCB's instead of fuses it is far easier to switch power back on then with fuses.
Do let us know what is found it has me scratching my head and I am nearly bald already.

Postby samlouiselowe » Sun Aug 03, 2008 7:47 pm

Hi Topspark and Eric.
Thanks for the advice. Embarrassingly we had an electrician out, showed him the 2 new fuses we purchased from the local electrical wholesaler and guess what .... they were both dud. So, after all that it was just a fuse. Everything has been checked over and given the ok and we are lit up like Blackpool illuminations once more.

Thanks again for the advice.
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Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2008 6:50 am

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